The one problem with diagnostic imaging is that fear of safety for the long term. Patients normally don’t have anything to worry about but occasionally, given the condition and a number of other factors, there is the minimal possibility of some future fallout. The biggest concern is the risk of cancer as a result of exposure to radiation. With the FDA looking for ways to decrease the risks while increasing quality there is also push from MITA (Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance) to do the same.
MITA has published XR 29 Standard Attributes on Computed Tomography (CT) Equipment Related to Dose Optimization and Management. XR 29 is MITA’s smart dose; its purpose is to optimize the doses in CT Scanning. This is a great development considering how many statistics are out there giving diagnostic imaging procedures a bad name, focusing on the issues that can result from the tests.
With everything in life there is always a chance that something may go wrong. Medical procedures have never been the exception to the rule. Diagnostic imaging procedures are among the safest out there. It does set a great example that a major field in diagnostic medicine is taking the time and effort to put out a way for imaging professionals to make procedures safer and friendlier to patients.
There are bundles to the MITA smart dose and they read something like this:
- DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) Radiation Dose Structured Report, which enables recording of post-exam dose information in a standardized electronic format. This information can be included in the patient record, promoting the establishment of diagnostic reference levels, as well as facility dose management and quality assurance.
- CT Dose Check, which incorporates two features—dose notifications and dose alerts—that warn operators and physicians when dose exceeds established thresholds.
- Automatic exposure controls (AEC), which automatically adjust the amount of radiation within prescribed bounds as needed to achieve the desired image quality. Studies of AEC procedures have demonstrated dose reductions when used properly.
- Pediatric and adult reference protocols, a set of pre-loaded parameters on a CT system that can be selected by the operator to complete a particular clinical task, such as capturing an image of the abdomen.
This is the best way to really promote safety, set an example, and work with the FDA in a manner that will generate attention and goodwill. Mary Pastel PhD, the Director of the FDA’s Radiological Health, Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health, FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health, had some high praise for this new development.
This smart dose will not resolve the concern fully but it’s a major step in the right direction. As time goes by there will likely be more measures implemented by practitioners, manufacturers and the government as well.
If you have any questions about CT Scanners or the procedure itself please feel free to contact us anytime.
MRI, CT & PET/CT Specialist